SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: July 30, 2017 Edition
McCain Kills GOP Health Care Bill
Just days after receiving brain surgery to remove a malignant tumor, Sen. John McCain (R-Az) returned to the senate in time to cast his vote killing the so-called "skinny" repeal of Obamacare. McCain joined fellow Republicans Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) to vote with all 48 Democrats for a 51-49 margin against the bill.
The Senator cited "bipartisanship" as his primary motivation. "The original Obamacare legislation was enacted without a single Republican vote,: he pointed out. "For us to repeal any part of it without a single Democratic vote would only continue to spur rancor between the aisles of congress." McCain said he was "confident that my reach across the aisle on this day will inspire both sides to work together for the good of the American people."
McCain acknowledged that the "skinny" repeal "would have offered some relief to those suffering from the high premiums and high deductibles Obamacare has inflicted on them, but it wouldn't have solved all of the ACA's deficiencies. Worse, it would have sent us back toward a system where individuals would be left free to choose not to buy insurance or to buy plans that do not require the coverage of essential services like gender reassignment surgery. The imprudent may think they don't need this option, but if we allow them to bypass paying for this coverage they'll be left holding the bag if the itch to switch ever strikes them."
"We all know that Obamacare has its faults," McCain continued. "Fortunately, essential personnel working in government are exempt and have been awarded superior coverage by President Obama's executive order. This puts members of congress in a position to exercise judgment without the pressures and biases that would accompany any decision that had a direct effect on our own health. It is my hope that a leisurely and dispassionate discussion between Republicans and Democrats will produce a comprehensive reform."
A teary-eyed Senate Minority Leader praised McCain's vote. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called it "the most courageous act I have ever personally witnessed. He has sacrificed his political future to rescue former President Obama's signature legacy. His stand for bipartisanship will forever protect the Affordable Care Act from repeal or adulteration as long as Democrats remain solidly against every GOP attempt to alter it."
Deputy Chairman of the Democratic Nation Committee Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn) vowed tobe one of those Democrats and "stand strong against Republican efforts to derail the progress President Obama has bestowed upon America. We need a truly comprehensive health care system like they've had in Cuba for the last 50 years. And I won't rest until we do."
Meanwhile, former House Speaker John Behner (R-Ohio) and former Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) admitted that "all the votes to repeal Obamacare while Obama was president were just for show. We knew he would veto whatever we passed. The Democrats in the senate cooperated by refraining from filibustering the repeal. We placated our base. The Democrats got to portray us as cold-hearted bastards. It was a win-win for both Parties."
In related news, the death of 11-month-old Charlie Gard after the UK's National Health Service went to court to prevent his parents from seeking medical treatment outside the country presented a preview of what a fully functioning single-payer health insurance system might deliver to the United States. The gist of the NHS' objection to Gard's parents spending their own money to treat him was that "scarce resources must be allocated by society, not individuals. The notion that his parents owned the resources they raised and could use them to selfishly benefit their own child is the evil that socialism must continually oppose."
Dems' IT Guy Arrested
This week, Imran Awan, one of a trio of brothers hired by the Democratic National Committee to handle the computers and other devices used by key Democrats on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was arrested trying to flee the country. News of the arrest prompted former DNC chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (Fla) to fire Awan, but she warned investigators there would be "consequences" if the laptop seized from him by police was not promptly returned to her. "The lap top is mine. I am a member of congress. I have immunity from prosecution."
Despite her assertion of immunity, Wasserman-Shultz is reportedly in a state of high anxiety over "this unprecedented persecution" and is said to have complained to friends that "We followed all the normal security procedures. We smashed the devices. We deleted the emails. We threatened the police to back off. We did everything Hillary did, but I'm still under the gun. The double-standard I'm seeing here is so unfair."
Former prosecutor and Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), observed that "smashing devices and deleting emails rarely erases all evidence of criminal activities. Anyone who has watched the TV show 'Forensic Files' knows that investigators have been able to recover content from 'destroyed devices' and 'erased files' that has led to the conviction of numerous murderers and other felons."
Gowdy also suggested that "the recent arrest of Mr. Awan also sheds a more sinister light on Rep. Wasserman-Schultz's remarks about cutting the budget of the DC Police. What might ordinarily be merely a fiscal issue starts to look like extortion when coupled with a demand that a certain line of inquiry ought to be discontinued."
The DC Police have been unsuccessfully "investigating" the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich for more than a year. Rich, a Bernie Sanders supporter, is suspected of being the person who sent DNC emails exposing how Wasserman-Schultz worked to rig the Democratic primary election for Hillary Clinton to Wikileaks.
Meanwhile, Awan's attorney blamed "Islamophobia" for the arrest of his client. "We are asserting the affirmative defense that since Mr. Awan was acting under the direction of a member of congress her immunity covers any and all crimes he may have committed at her behest. Should this defense be rejected we will be pleading 'cultural ignorance.' In Mr. Awan's native land, what American law may regard as illegal is allowed under the traditional practice of baksheesh. Mr. Awan was the subordinate of a powerful American governmental official. He should not be held criminally liable for accepting money to do as he was told by a person who he trusted to know American law."
County Has 1000s of Voters Older than 100
Examination of the registered voter rolls in Broward County, Florida revealed that there are thousands of voters over 100 years of age, including several over 130 years old. The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) filed a lawsuit accusing the Broward County supervisor of elections, Brenda Snipes, of dereliction of duty.
"This quantity of centenarians on the voter rolls is actuarially improbable," argued Logan Churchwell, the head researcher for PILF. "This improbability alone should have spurred the elections officials to scrutinize the data and purge deceased voters from the lists."
Snipes countered by asserting "I am no mathematician and should not be held accountable for such calculations. Besides, our records show a consistent casting of ballots by every one of these elderly voters. I am not going to insult them by assuming they're dead or that even if they are they shouldn't have ballots cast in their name. For all we know, their wills may have directed their heirs to continue to perform the civic duty of voting for them as a condition of receiving their inheritance."
Churchwell called Snipes' response "inane. A person cannot will his vote to an heir. The fact that there are more registered voters in the county than there are persons of voting age as recorded by the census is prima facie evidence of a problem. Illegally casting votes for the dead is fraud. Failure to address this fraud makes Ms. Snipes an accomplice."
Votes cast by dead people aren't the only possible source of fraud in Florida. There are 180,000 non-citizens with driver's licenses whose names also appear as registered voters. Snipes insisted that "this is not my responsibility. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is registering these people to vote."
DHSMV Director Terry Rhodes explained that "the courts have barred us from requiring that those registering to vote must show proof of US citizenship. We do indicate whether or not the person registering has checked the citizen box. The 180,000 non-citizens on the voter rolls shows the number who did not check that box. We have no way of knowing how many non-citizens falsely claimed to be citizens by wrongfully checking that box."
In related news, a quick survey by the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) found 8,000+ instances of "double voting"--ballots cast by the same individual in more than one venue during the same election. These were votes by individuals with the identical first and last name, middle initial, birth date, and partial Social Security number. "There can be little doubt that these were illegally cast votes," said the GAI's Peter Schweizer. "Considering that our scan did not include probable duplicate votes where an individual may have omitted a middle initial or used a different last name (say a birth name in one venue and a married name in another), the number of duplicate votes is likely far higher than our study indicated."
"Allah Is Gay" Sign Banned
London police barred Britain's Council of Ex-Muslims (CEMB) from displaying their "Allah is gay" sign in the City's annual gay pride parade. Police did allow a "Jesus is gay" sign to be displayed.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan explained that "calling Allah gay is a slander that cannot be tolerated. Anyone who has read the Quran can clearly see that Allah is NOT gay. In fact, in the Quran Allah prescribes death for homosexuals. A proclamation that Allah is gay is obviously untrue."
Khan contrasted the clarity of Islam's stance on homosexuality with what he characterized as "the ambiguity of Christianity on this issue. First, you have the 'cast no stone' doctrine, which implies that the sin of homosexuality should be forgiven. Second, Jesus never married and spent an inordinate amount of time closeted with a dozen men as he roamed around preaching his message. Mohammed took on numerous wives and inseminated many infidel women as Allah bid him to do. Finally, we see that Pope Francis has refused to publicly condemn homosexuality saying 'who am I to judge.' So, it is not unreasonable to suspect that Jesus may have been gay. Banners that express that suspicion are possibly true and, thus, protected freedom of speech."
In related news, a study conducted in Denmark discovered that children of immigrants have attitudes that are more favorable toward Islamic violence than their parents. This finding was interpreted as supporting German Chancellor Angela Merkel's determination "to never limit the number of immigrants coming to our country from the Middle East. Clearly, we need the moderating influence of recent arrivals to dilute the murderous impulses of the children of earlier immigrants."